James Scully addressing the attendance at the Launch of That Beats Banagher Festival in Crank House, Banagher be held on the 22nd-24th July.. Ger Rogers Photo.
THE forthcoming 9th That Beats Banagher Festival was successfully launched on Thursday evening last by the award-winning poet Jessica Traynor.
Having read a selection from her suite of poems inspired by the heritage of Banagher, entitled A Place of Pointed Stones, the author gave the festival her best wishes. She then hoped that the great variety of events be fully attended and that the energetic organisers would plan a bumper 10th festival for 2023 to establish the event on a national level.
This year’s festival itself will take place over the weekend of the Friday to Sunday July 22nd to 24th with a multiplicity of literary, cultural and sporting events including a food and craft fair in the Bridge Barracks yard on Saturday, craft workshops, children's events, water events, children's outdoor cinema and other surprise events.
The programme is particularly strong on literary events with the launch of two books on Charlotte Brontë's honeymoon in Ireland, the first, Arthur & Charlotte, by Pauline Clooney (published by Merdog) and the second, Charlotte Brontë: An Irish Odyssey by Michael O'Dowd (published by Pardus Media). Pauline & Michael recently spoke with much acclaim at the prestigious Bradford Literary Festival under the title No Net Ensnares Me: Charlotte Brontë Abroad.
This event which begins at 6.30pm on Friday July 22nd will be preceded by the premiere of a short film called The Legacy of the Brontës in Banagher produced by Maebh O'Regan of NCAD. This twenty-minute presentation will feature local actors Cora Stronge Smith, Saoirse Flynn and Brendan Dolan. The film which was shot on location in Charlotte’s Way, (formerly Hill House), Banagher and the National Portrait Gallery in London, tells the story of the famous “Pillar” portrait of the three Brontë sisters, Anne, Emily and Charlotte by their only brother Branwell c.1834 and its sensational discovery in Hill House about eighty years later.
An exhibition of tapestries and other handcraft by the Banagher Craft Group relating to the Brontë connection with Banagher will also be opened and will remain on display all weekend in the Long Room in Crank House
Patrick Flattery's book That Beats Banagher will be introduced by the author himself on Saturday July 23rd at 5pm. Patrick is travelling from Minnesota for the weekend and his book relates to his nineteenth century ancestors in Banagher and Cloghan. The fast moving novel tells the fascinating story of his great, great grandfather Robert Flattery and other members of the historic Flattery family, taking some well-disguised liberties with local history and geography along the way.
On Sunday afternoon at 2pm, Lynn Maloney (Coughlan) of Banagher and Mary Madden of Portumna will speak of their self-publishing exploits during covid times and showcase their books. All literary events will be held in the Long Room in the Crank House. Copies of all books will be on sale throughout the weekend from the ever popular Martello Tower pop-up bookshop which makes a timely return to the festival.
On Sunday morning there will be a heritage related cycle from Banagher to Shannon Harbour and Clonony, via Cuba and Streamstown and the Harbour Cross. The cycle starts at the Crank House car park at 11am and will finish about 1.30pm back in Banagher.
The festival will close with a bang during a visit to the award-winning fortification Fort Eliza on the Crank Road at 6pm on Sunday. Don't miss it!!
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